One of the things that I love most are the “ordinary guys” of the Young Adult genre. I tried to come up with a better name with this group of characters, but I couldn’t. I’m just not that clever. The thought is still there, though! Before I continue with this post, I need to put it out there that this is just my own view on what an “ordinary guy” is, which is completely based on my own experiences with meeting and interacting with people. So, your opinion might be different from mine.
What I believe to be an ordinary guy is a male character who I feel is similar to a guy that I would most likely come across in life. Which means that he is not a handsome, charming, dreamy boy, but a boy that burps out loud, messes up with his words, crack perverted jokes, do stupid things that boys and just people in general do, and be a little irritating at times. And, not forgetting the good qualities, can be funny, kind and affectionate in his own way, make the people who hang around him comfortable and happy, and stay on your side and try to help you out when you need the help.
Of course, I am going to need to give and take a few difference traits for every ordinary guy (both fictional and real) I encounter since everyone is different 😉 Not everybody can be funny or burp out loud and at will. Not everybody can make all the people hanging around them feel comfortable and happy. I know that, but I also know that an ordinary boy is not going to be a “dream guy”. I really hope that I am making at least some sense.
Unfortunately, ordinary guy characters are starting to get ignored and replaced by handsome men who are able to steal the heart of the heroine right when they first meet and protect her at any given moment. Which isn’t exactly bad, really. I mean, a book is used as a means to escape the real world and immerse yourself in another one. Adding a dream guy isn’t going to hurt anything, and they do fit well in certain stories. But I do think that the amount of dream guys that are popping up is a little ridiculous. It’s getting to the point that I could create a gigantic fictional host club. And I am totally not referencing to a manga series.
I totally am.
When an author is writing a guy character that can be a little perverted and messes up at wooing a girl at times(a great example would be Justin from A Really Awesome Mess), it takes a little work in order to make them win the hearts of the readers, and even then it is still risky. But when an author writes a dream guy, it doesn’t take that much work in order to get the character to be loved. Which makes me think that the growing number of dream guys are because authors don’t want to take the risk.
But the thing is that the risk and works it takes to write an ordinary guy who burps and can do stupid things at times is what makes those type of male characters such treasures. Every person I have met in my life has many different traits that show in different situations. So the ordinary guys in books are going to have a hodge podge of different traits, good qualities and flaws, that make them so authentic and real. Yes, giving a character certain traits may be a little risky and cause readers to dislike them, but it is like that in reality also. Dream guy characters don’t take the amount of risk and work that makes ordinary guy characters so great.
So, cheers to the ordinary guys who burp, talk to loud, accidentally kill moments, don’t have the ability to pick out good gifts, mix things up, have weird hair, can’t remember necessary things, and a whole lot of other stuff that make them so loved by me.
Don’t agree with me? Want to add something else? Think I don’t make any sense (which is totally possible)? Please tell in the comments. I would love to discuss!